Al-Anon Family Group

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Post Info TOPIC: Listen, and learn...

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1991
Listen, and learn...


   smile Hi y'all... aww ...

This is my Saturday morning share. I downloaded the 16 approved Alanon slogans. At one time i have tried to memorise all of them- to avoid letting a slogan slip, that was not CAL!

I say today: that I used to beat myself over the head with a brick wall! Pretty violent image. I know now that i had childhood dementia. Today I have whittled away most of the pain- through getting extra help. Along with pain I had sensations of cold- which is something I am addressing now.

Both are not surprising. My family, FOO was chronically passive aggressive. The opposite of the "Once Were Warriors" scenario. Us boys had bunks- two of them for four boys. When our boy cousins stayed we topped and tailed- making eight to the room. It was fun really. Nice to have city kids around. But sadly all four of those cousins, with beautiful Welsh names ended up working as sex workers. Nothing at University could explain, to me, how this could have happened. My uncle, there father joined the navy at the age of 15. He saw battle stations the following year. At one time he jumped overboard and they had to turn the whole convoy round to pick him up.

But my pain and cold came from gross neglect. I understand fully how this came about- having done the steps a few times.

But u was hurt [literally] and extremely angry for much of my life. Anger was too soft a word here- rage@fear=terrorfied... describes my state of mind.

I was terrified that i would die. And I know know that I got pneumonia, at one time. No one noticed.

At my first meeting I had hair well down my back, and gumboots on- with the tops turned down. I recall this- because my gaze was always down- on those gumboots. I have strong memories of that meeting. I was the only male in the group for about 25 years.

The group folded a few years ago and i came here. smile ...

But I recall those slogans. Corny, was the word that came to my head. Very american way... which to my mind was "my way or the highway!"

That was my thinking, at the time.

Getting to Alanon and getting married happened at the same time. My new So encouraged me to go- which made a big difference.

And Ah still have the same So... ...which says heaps!

i was an extremely good listener, and I think ah still am. I was a fly on the wall kid, really. At school kids were strapped, boys especially. But I never was, not once. I put that down to learning to be invisible, at home.

When I hit the city- there was some hope. In my teens i had heard about mental illness. But no- I did not have any mental illness. I had a deep abiding emotional sickness. And my poor mind could only observe this, and despair. cry ...

I was hurting bad, another words.

In my mind there was lots and lots of input- but little or no outlet... I was bunged up emotionally. Most of what i had experienced, daily was chaos and crisis. Beside that- our government was coming into the valley- to build a dam on the valley floor- and this added to the mayhem.

I say this a lot- and repeat... but it is an ill wind that does not do somebody some good. The construction crews bought AA members, and Alanon too, and I joined up with the latter. At the peak of construction we had a steady 16 members.

For me, as i speak now there are two gifts in Alanon- having learned so much.

The first is to listen and to be listened to.

Listen and learn.

Sometimes we stumble and fall with this one- especially in the early years. It does take time to retrain the brain and  to relearn stuff.

And the second gift is to offer good boundaries.

We may not have any boundaries, for starters, or broken and damaged ones. Why else do we come into Alanon?

Some of us, maybe most have had good people in our lives- who have tired to reach us. So, even me, had an inkling of what a decent boundary was.

But, truly speaking, this was not second nature, at the beginning...

baby steps work well here. At meetings we realise quickly, and instinctively that we are all in the same boat. That is the love and peace of the programme...

...I always thought I was too broken to grow... but along the way I had a relationship and we managed to have family. This was tough and gruelling. I agonised about this choice sometimes!

I get into conversations now- and had formed friendships inside of Alanon- where I feel like a real live adult. I feel confident and assured, more so now that i am doing and saying the right thing. This was not always so. hmm cry ...

And I still listen and learn... still have a lot of catching up to do. smile ...

aww Thanks for the share... so grateful...  


One day at a time.

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1483

Morning David-I too suffered abuse in childhood. I had a raging brother and no protection from parents. I was heavily damaged and had a fear-based personality. I never thought I could overcome these problems, in spite of years of therapy. The therapy did help but nothing has helped me blossom into a competent-feeling human being except our program. Listen and learn and all the slogans help me tremendously, with all kinds of things, on a daily basis. I used to hear people say they were a grateful member, but now I say it, and truly mean it. I'm glad you also have been able to overcome or are working on overcoming your challenges. Lyne



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 952

David, thank you for this. I too thought the slogans were corny - - and now I realize that some of those slogans saved my sanity.

And I totally agree that Listening and Being Listened To, and Boundaries, are two key benefits of Al-Anon, along with realizing we in the program are all in the same boat. The first image that came to me when I started Al-Anon was that of a lifeboat. I didn't agree with or understand everything that the other folks in the lifeboat were saying -- but if they wanted to refer to God, which is not my thing, or if they wanted to have a rule about crosstalk, which I didn't understand at the time -- I wasn't going to let that stop me from being in the lifeboat and saved from drowning.

It's so amazing to me when I hear someone express things I've already thought, and I thought I was the only one. Recently I had an "original" idea, which was to change Step Ten to say "when I was right promptly admitted it" -- because I think I need to recognize my assets as well as my defects -- and then I heard another member come up with the same wording. I truly am not alone, or unique


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 827




Mahalo David and the two others who came to add ESH to the slogan my sponsor impressed upon my working the program.

I did listen and did learn a lot including college and work experience and life experiences from my family of origin who practiced intoxification before I set foot on Hawaiian soil.  Additionally my family was terribly messed up and couldn't pass on stable sanity if they wish to or knew how to while the u.s. and Japan were bombing our land (still till today) and we were responsible for turning house lights off to prevent being targets.  We absorbed and took on and passed on the insanity we were raised in.  I knew my Mom's anger and resentments came from sources other than myself and siblings and years later as a Behavioral Health Counselor I would take and opportunity to have my Mom and Step Father as patients for 1 session only and get thanked for it by them.  They were asked to listen and not talk for 45 minutes and complied as I gave them the voice they had never heard before my own.  Thank God for that opportunity and the outcome.  The counseling session was part amends as I could not have done it without using forgiveness.

They listened and learned and offered humble forgiveness and it was done even though the rest of the family had to use other methods.  I am still amending...some days are better than others yet all days include abidance with HP and for that I am beyond grateful.

Listen...of course; the voices need to be heard.  Learn...absolutely or why even try to smile.

Love to you all (((((hugs))))) smile

Jerry F
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